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ALSA stands for Advanced Linux Sound Architecture. It is a suite of hardware drivers, libraries and utilities which provide audio and MIDI functionality for the Linux operating system. ALSA is the main topic this wiki is about.

The official web site of the ALSA project is:


Sigificant features of the ALSA audio system according to their website include...

  • efficient support for all types of audio interfaces, from consumer soundcards to professional multichannel audio interfaces
  • fully modularized sound drivers
  • SMP and thread-safe design
  • user space library (alsa-lib) to simplify application programming and provide higher level functionality
  • support for the older OSS API, providing binary compatibility for most OSS programs

More features according to its users:

  • very stable (at least for me!)
  • much midi things working! (compared to OSS better support)
  • easy creating midi/sound editors!
  • common interface
  • support for many cards
  • nice developers! ;-)
  • sound standard for the 2.6.x Linux kernel
  • OSS emu
  • Plugin layer support in userspace
  • ALSA System on Chip layer to support Embedded audio devices

mail joachim (js ATT dune2 DoTT de)

Categories: Software | Glossary